Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Going, Going, Gone!

"When you have cleared all of your clutter,
you can be of greater service to those around you. "
Michael B. Kitson 

  "The more you have, the more you are occupied.
The less you have, the more free you are."
Mother Teresa

Hello dear friends, 

Decluttering may not be the most exciting activity but it is certainly an uplifting one.  I have managed to put together a huge bag of shoes, 3 large garbage bags of clothing and 2 medium size bags of magazines/books. These were all picked up by 1 person after posting an ad on the website for my local Freecycle chapter.  Within 2 and a half hours after posting on Sunday evening, I had my first response and she offered to take the entire lot. Starting at 6 a.m. the next morning I had 5 more takers.  This was great because it meant I had back up takers in case the first woman changed her mind.

I gladly give to the Goodwill but since I shop at the thrift stores myself, I often feel my local thrift stores charge way too much money.  It is getting rather ridiculous some of the prices they now ask which are often higher than purchasing brand new in a retail shop. For example, at one local thrift store today they wanted $16.00 for a small used, good condition Corningware roasting pan. Last night, on line, I found the same roasting pan as part of an 8 piece (4 different pots with lids) brand new, for $44. 95. If you do the math you can see that one set would cost under $12. a piece; clearly less than the used item. You can see what I mean by ridiculous prices. I digress but what I'm really trying to show is that the thrift stores in many cases do ask more than the retail stores especially when there is a big sale. This is very bad news for those people on low income that really need to buy second hand so I really like to give things away when I can find a willing receiver. I find the best way is to put an offer on my local chapter of Freecycle.

A woman who works with the down and out came to pick up these items. 

My next task after cleaning my bedroom closet was to reduce the number of products under my bathroom sink. Despite limiting what I've been buying in the toiletry department it seems I still have far more than I can properly accommodate or use.  Some of these items were gifts. I was happy to give them to a woman who works with women who live on the street, or who have a very low income.

Then came a quick survey of my foyer closet and the kitchen.   I found a Spring jacket and the new winter car coat (winter coat in the photo). I bought this coat many years ago while I was still working and for whatever reason I just never wore it. I also found a few little kitchen items that I didn't want to throw away.

A nice young woman sent her boyfriend to pick these items up.
A student is expected to pick up on Thursday for a charity.

I still have a lot of crafting items of all kinds too.  Once I execute some of my projects in the coming year, the stash will be reduced.  But I did manage to gather together quite a few balls of left over yarn and a couple sets of knitting needles.

Donated to an senior who teaches knitting.
The last thing I am sorting this week is papers. I don't know how far I'll get but I want to clear as much as I can before the end of the month. This is my least favourite job and that why I'm here at the computer looking for a distraction and taking a short break.  I don't have a shredder that takes large amounts of paper so I have been keeping the paper aside in a small tub so I can burn them.  I've been culling papers for what seems like forever but I can "see" the finish line in sight though it will still take awhile.

Most of you who have a lot of stuff that you haven't looked at in years will know that a true decluttering project takes plenty of time.  You have to go through things that have accumulated over years and years. I don't think I've ever undertaken such a massive decluttering project and perhaps it is because I used to move on a regular basis and that kept the clutter accumulation in check.

I find that in the early stage of decluttering I get rid of the obvious things I don't want or use.  But I don't always get rid of things I don't use (that is why I have clutter, lol). I keep things I know I will use down the line.  As time goes on, I reassess whether I will still use things and sometimes go through them two, three and four times, before I make my final decisions.

Part of my hesitation in getting rid of some things, especially craft items and books  is because I do not want to have to buy things again that I know I will need later. With clothing it is always easier to go through things and get rid of most things you no longer want or need.

What I'm trying to get to is a life of greater simplicity.  That is a little hard to do when you like to do crafts or read books.  Anyone who does crafts knows you have to have stock and supplies on hand. This is a challenge when you live in a small space.  Anyone who loves to read knows it is hard to pass up a book. These days I try to buy second hand or get things free. I only buy a book if I know I'm going to read it and then I pass it on. I have quite a few books so I shouldn't be buying any more.


Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

Good work. It's not easy but always rewarding. The craft is main area in which I have difficulty parting with items. It's so good to see things passed on to someone who really appreciates them.

Denise said...

Wonderful work. Happy thanksgiving, love you.

orchid0324 said...

Hello, thank you very much for visiting and leaving sweet comment.
Your blog seems wonderful, I will look into more when I find time♪♪♪

Sincerely from Japan; Orchid*

KT said...

Project declutter... I slowly make efforts around this house.

I volunteer at a local resale shop where the money stays in Warrenville Youth and Family Services...that helps. I often find that the supervisors think I price things too low. But really, if it sells...makes someone happy and they come back...isn't that a success?

Last week I had a pile of yarn to sort through similar to what your picture shows. I had $0.25 on the smaller ones...$.50 on larger...and $1.00 when I would group 4 or 5 small ones together. The supervisor made me reprice the single small ones to $1.00...Really? I can go buy a full-new one with a coupon for $3 or so dollars... Anyhow...

Joanne Noragon said...

I've long been at a point where I accumulate nothing else. My biggest problem is the little gifties others feel the need to bestow. "This made me think of you!" When I accumulate a drawer full, I send them along to the thrift store.

Joyful said...

KT, I totally agree with your pricing of the yarn. Not so long ago I bought new big (clean) balls of yarn on sale at Michael's for $2.99 (regular $6.99). At these prices, it doesn't makes sense to buy small balls of used yarn especially when you need to buy in quantity large enough to make something. Thrift store yarn needs to be at a very low price but I see it is marked quite high where I live...if you can even find it.

The lady who came to pick up my yarn actually runs a shop for the down trodden. She said that she tries to find yarn for her senior friend and also needles but that most of the shops throw the knitting needles away because they can't sell them. I've noticed that a lot of what used to be available at thrift stores (tin cans, knitting yarn, knitting needles, etc.) is just no longer there to buy.

Joyful said...

Yes, it really made me feel better to hear the stories of who needed the stuff and why. It is always nice to know it went somewhere useful. Of course, anyone who came to get the stuff is welcome to it as I believe in recycling ;-)

Joyful said...

Thank you, Denise. Happy Thanksgiving to you. xx

Joyful said...

Thank you, Orchid. Please come again soon. ♪♪♪

Joyful said...

Joanne, you must have a lot of discipline. I'm still working on discipline but am getting there. I understand what you mean about the gifts. I try to let people know not to buy me gifts but once in awhile I do still get them.

Farida said...

I find this task difficult to do. I seem to be attached to every single item I have, hahaha!

I love your new header Ms Joyful! Take care :)

Rosemary said...

OH, I so agree with you, de-cluttering is healthy and helpful but it does take time, sorting through what you really don't need anymore versus what you may use again in the future. You are making so many people happy by offering your extras to others, good luck :)

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

If only I had something to motivate me. I think it's great that you have managed to do this.

snowwhite said...

i am amazed with your energy. You always keep going on and never stop.
It is hard for me to declutter. To separate what I do not use is easy, but whether I can get rid of them is a different thing. When I do winter cleaning, I need someone like you.
Have a great week!

Anonymous said...

I messed up my comment. I'll do it again. Wonderful that you are trying to simplify your life. That would be hard to do. I think we all need to declutter every now and again.
I procrastinate...

Joyful said...

Farida, I really understand what you mean. that is why I have so many things in the first place. Now I am learning to let go because I think of so many that do without. Also, if one has so many things they cannot appreciate or enjoy them all. Better to have a few things that you really can enjoy. Thank you for your kind words on my new header. You take care too.

Joyful said...

Thank you for your visit Rosemary. I can't believe how much stuff I had to get rid of. I thought I had gotten rid of a lot last time....I'm glad I'm getting this done before Christmas. Take care :-)

Joyful said...

Christmas is my motivator, Heidi. Also I simply need room! LOL. I hope you get over your earache soon my dear so you and Buddy and hubby can enjoy the lead up to Christmas. Hugs and prayers. x

Joyful said...

Hello Keiko-san, so nice to see you again. I agree that decluttering is not so easy though some people seem to always be clutter free. I like to have things around me that I use. I guess for me right now is the need to find a space for my small Christmas tree and make the best use of the space I have. Enjoy your week too!

Joyful said...

Hi Pat, so nice to have you for a visit ;-) I tend not to be a procrastinator. I grew up with a master procrastinator and so I tend to be the opposite. If I want something done, I just get on with it. Sometimes time and other demands this decluttering project has taken quite awhile but I am decluttering decades of paperwork and other items. I'm motivated by the coming Christmas season as I don't have much storage. Good thing or I might store things and forget all about them! Take care and have a wonderful week ahead.

Coral Wild said...

De-cluttering is always a great project. The last one I undertook was before moving in to my current home 7 years ago - which was a "down size" move. That was a very stressful decluttering as it had much emotional baggage tied into it.

But you have inspired me in to doing this again - next week, once I have FINALLY done my tax return:) (I'm a procrastinator like you:))

Kaybe said...

When I moved from a house to a smaller apartment - decluttering was forced upon me. I have embraced the lifestyle with wild abandon. The lighter you are the higher you can fly. xo

Lonicera said...

I should be doing this too - I need someone like you to stand over me and and encourage me to tackle the next pile! Inheriting my parents' clutter didn't help, and I'm not naturally a tidy person - though of course I like seeing things tidy!
In answer to the comment you left me, no I haven't yet tackled changing the blog background. I've sort of got used to the one I've got now, and worry that I lost the last one because it came from a website that may have kept tabs on what people do with their artwork, and as it was free, sort of pulled the plug, if you know what I mean. Maybe I'm over-dramatising it, but anyway, for now I'll leave it as it is. It would be a different matter if it was "your" header that had disappeared, because I really do like that. I've cut and pasted your two e-mails of instructions, by the way, to keep on my computer for when I need them - your effort was really appreciated.

Vores have said...

Good morning Joyful
Once in a while you probably have to part with some things., Personally I do it too.
We can all live "a simple life" - does not have an abundance of everything ...... it applies to everything from clothing to a crowded calendar .....
In this country, writes many articles: Clean up your mess - get more profits, etc.

Thank forkommentaren on my blog ...... Joyful my blog has been very unstable since on 17.11. so yesterday was down again .... has had support for my provider One. com. they make updates, and yesterday was their servers down ...... hope that it is stable now.
Wishing you a good Monday / good new week.
Hugs Hanne Bente

clairz said...

I love decluttering, but I'm always surprised that there is more to be done! We also try to buy only used items. Slowly, but surely, we are getting less "stuff." That is so ironic, when one considers people who really have nothing at all. Thank you for the inspiration, Penny.

❀~Myrna~❀ said...

After the first of the year, I have some serious decluttering to do. You're an inspiration to me! :)

Diane said...

With all the moving that we have done you would not expect me to have any clutter any more but....... enough said. Have a good week. Diane

stardust said...

Mother Teresa's words is so true. It would be also true that the true richest people need the least. Having said that, it’s difficult for me to decide which to keep or not. Recently, I try to think well if I really need it before a purchase not so as to increase personal belongings.

I had thought I posted a comment to this post. Maybe I did it wrong or .... I’m not sure what happened.


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